Merrick vs. Whole Earth Farms

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Merrick vs. Whole Earth Farms

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  • #75095 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    Hi everyone.

    I have a 6 year old American Bulldog Mix and a 6 month old Catahoula mix. I’ve been going back and forth trying to find a quality food brand to feed them. Right now they eat Castor & Pollux Organix Adult and Organix Puppy. And they share a can of Castor & Pollux wet food once a day.

    Both Petco and Petsmart have essentially rid themselves of the brand. And while I can buy online, I’m essentially looking for a food that I can feed them both.

    Both Merrick Grain Free (rated on here at 5 stars) and Whole Earth Farms (rated here at 4 stars) offer dry and wet All Life Stages foods. I know Merrick owns WEF. Is there a big difference in quality between the two? There’s an approximate $15 difference in price between them and I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth it. Or it WEF is a decent brand.

    My dogs aren’t happy with the C&P food. Before that they were on Ideal Balance dry (which they also didn’t want to eat). I’ve spent a lot of time transitioning from one brand to the next and I’m hoping that Merrick (or WEF) will be a quality food they will look forward to eating. I know that big brands fill their foods with ingredients dogs love to eat and sometimes it’s harder to get a dog to adapt to a higher grade food.

    My mother recently adopted a puppy and the shelter gave her a bag of Purina Smart One Puppy. She gobbles it up and won’t eat anything else. I’ve already schooled her on their questionable ingredients. I fed a small amount to my very picky eating puppy and I was not surprised to find the bowl empty 1 minute later and that she was literally licking it clean. It would be easy to feed her that (my vet recommends Purina Pro Plan and says he feeds his dogs that). But I know what’s in the bag and I’ve already attempted to feed my large dog their Pro Plan Large Breed dry a year ago on the vet’s suggestion, only to find nasty meal worms crawling around inside the storage container I had the food in and my dog’s food bowl (I know this has more to do with packaging/shipping than production, but still. I’ve since read up on the brand and am not impressed.

    Merrick seems to be a decent brand of food. And on paper WEF seems just as good. Both are readily available at my local Petco and online. But it Merrick brand worth the extra $15/bag over WEF?

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Christie.
    #75127 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Christie-
    I am feeding my dogs WEF turkey and duck kibble right now. They are doing very well on it. I am quite happy about that. They have also had one bag of the grain free Merrick as well and did fine on that too. I always mix in canned, fresh or frozen foods. I rotate with Victor kibble. I would only buy the Merrick G/f agaIn if it was on a coupon or sale. I’d rather save the money to be able to add more nutritious, less processed mixers in their meals. I have two lab/retriever mix dogs and four cats.

    You could always rotate between them. Variety is very healthy!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  crazy4cats.
    #75133 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Christie- I’ve worked at a store that carried both products (Petco) and so I made a point to look into both brands for when customers had questions about them. Merrick GF has 12% more protein than WEF. WEF is 26%(29 dry matter) and Merrick is 38%(43 dry matter). Therefore WEF will be a little higher in carbs than Merrick. WEF is also lower in fat than Merrick, which helps. However, for it’s price I believe that WEF is one of the best foods in that price point. It’s very close to Purina products price wise and we would often recommend it at my old job for customers who were looking to transistion to natural foods. The price wasn’t as scary, but they are still feeding a far better food than Purina or the like. One thing I’d like to point out (as I’m currently going through this with my pitbull) that Bulldog’s are prone to yeast and yeast loves starchy carbs like potatoes. Since Merrick does a lot with potatoes and sweet potatoes make sure you are cleaning his folds (if he has some) and his ears very regularly. If you start to smell a yeasty smell consider a food without potatoes and other starchy carbs like peas.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Pitlove.
    #75177 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Christie-
    One important thing that we forgot to mention in the two previous posts to think about also, is the fact that the WEF recipes have less calories than the Merrick grain free. Most of the WEF flavors have about 350 calories per cup and the Merrick ones typically have 400 or more calories per cup. So you do need to take that into consideration as well as you will most likely be feeding more of the WEF than the Merrick.

    I have two neutered male labs that I have to be careful of their weight. Therefore, I can feed a little more of the WEF without worrying about weight gain. That makes them happy!!

    Pitlove gave you great advice about feeding a lot of potatoes possibly causing yeast issues. We haven’t had that problem, but it is another good reason to rotate foods and/or brands that use different proteins and carb sources. Good luck!

    #75203 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    Thank you crazy4cats and pitlove for the advice!! I went out after work and bought a small bag of the WEF Turkey and Duck kibble. I put just a small portion of it mixed with their normal dinner.

    My big guy has had no issue (he can literally eat anything), but my little pup vomited 6 times tonight and she’s a miserable mess on my lap right now as I type this.

    Can a dog really have that bad of a reaction to new kibble?

    She also gobbled up her food this morning and this evening after mixing it with some wet food.

    When I first adopted her and transitioned from Ideal Balance to Organix, I didn’t have any problems. I don’t know if it’s the food as a whole or a particular ingredient in the WEF that she’s having an issue with. Or if it’s because she ate too fast (but I would think she would’ve vomited soon after eating instead of 5 hours later).

    Do I try again tomorrow? Or do I cook something bland like boiled chicken and rice and wait until her stomach settles?

    #75236 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Christie- If she vomited 6 times you can fast her and that will rest her stomach. She should be fine in the morning. My dog threw up 7 times one Sunday morning and we held his dinner and next day he was good as new and could hold his food down. The same food he threw up. Also how small is small of an amount that you mixed in? If you are starting your transition suggested ratios for the first meal are usually somewhere to the tune of 75 or 80% or the old food and 25 or 20% of the new food.

    #75238 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    She vomited 6 times within the course of about 45 minutes or so– then was set for the rest of the night. She drank some water this morning (not too much) and nibbled on a bit of her regular dry food. And she was playful and rolling around with my other dog outside this morning.

    I only put about 20% of the new food in her dish last night. But it must have upset her stomach because I noticed some grass in the vomit. And she was whiny and attention seeking earlier in the night before she became sick.

    I know that transitioning can sometimes be a difficult process, and some dogs go through it with no issue and some dogs don’t tolerate any change well.

    I’m not going to give up on transitioning, but I might put it on hold until after the weekend as I am going to be puppy sitting and I really don’t want to worry about possible vomit on top of worrying about my 110 pound giant eating this 10 pound pup.

    I hope she’s not allergic or intolerant of any of the WEF ingredients. I did notice that she was rubbing her face and pawing at her ears last night. And I did check this morning and her ears, while a bit dirty inside (my dogs love play fighting on the one area of my backyard that’s all topsoil), they weren’t red or inflamed or anything suggesting sickness. And she was trying (unsuccessfully) to bite at her tail. All symptoms that I read this morning of possible food allergies. I thought the Turkey and Duck recipe was the safest bet.

    I have been transitioning both dogs from free eating dry kibble with a canned treat each night to two meals/day. And I did only start to mix the canned with the dry kibble and both dogs finished their meals rather quickly. Definitely a chance over how they normally eat. So maybe it’s a combo of the food itself and how quickly they eat it.

    Hopefully it was just a one off and she’ll transition to WEF without any other issues.

    Thanks again for all the help!

    #75239 Report Abuse

    Christie
    Member

    She vomited 6 times within the course of about 45 minutes or so– then was set for the rest of the night. She drank some water this morning (not too much) and nibbled on a bit of her regular dry food. And she was playful and rolling around with my other dog outside this morning.

    I only put about 20% of the new food in her dish last night. But it must have upset her stomach because I noticed some grass in the vomit. And she was whiny and attention seeking earlier in the night before she became sick.

    I know that transitioning can sometimes be a difficult process, and some dogs go through it with no issue and some dogs don’t tolerate any change well.

    I’m not going to give up on transitioning, but I might put it on hold until after the weekend as I am going to be puppy sitting and I really don’t want to worry about possible vomit on top of worrying about my 110 pound giant eating this 10 pound pup.

    I hope she’s not allergic or intolerant of any of the WEF ingredients. I did notice that she was rubbing her face and pawing at her ears last night. And I did check this morning and her ears, while a bit dirty inside (my dogs love play fighting on the one area of my backyard that’s all topsoil), they weren’t red or inflamed or anything suggesting sickness. And she was trying (unsuccessfully) to bite at her tail. All symptoms that I read this morning of possible food allergies. I thought the Turkey and Duck recipe was the safest bet.

    I have been transitioning both dogs from free eating dry kibble with a canned treat each night to two meals/day. And I did only start to mix the canned with the dry kibble and both dogs finished their meals rather quickly. Definitely a change over how they normally eat. So maybe it’s a combo of the food itself and how quickly they eat it.

    Hopefully it was just a one off and she’ll transition to WEF without any other issues.

    Thanks again for all the help!

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